Jaishankar, Guha engage in Twitter debate over Sardar Patel | India News


NEW DELHI: External affairs minister S Jaishankar and historian Ramachandra Guha on Wednesday engaged in a debate on Twitter over the former’s assertion that Jawaharlal Nehru did not want Sardar Patel in his Cabinet in 1947.
Citing VP Menon’s autobiography, Jaishankar, in a series of tweets, said that Nehru omitted Patel from the initial Cabinet list and it was a subject for much debate.
The external affairs minister tweeted: “Released an absorbing biography of VP Menon. Sharp contrast between Patel’s Menon and Nehru’s Menon. Much awaited justice done to a truly historical figure.

“Learnt from the book that Nehru did not want Patel in the Cabinet in 1947 and omitted him from the initial Cabinet list. Clearly, a subject for much debate. Noted that the author stood her ground on this revelation,” the Union minister said.

He stressed that exercise of writing history for politics in the past needs honest treatment.

Responding to his tweets, Guha called the Union minister’s comments a “myth”.
“This is a myth, that has been comprehensively demolished by Professor Srinath Raghavan in The Print. Besides, promoting fake news about, and false rivalries between, the builders of modern India is not the job of the Foreign Minister. He should leave this to the BJP’s IT Cell,” the historian wrote.

However, Jaishankar was quick to respond to Guha’s jibe and recommended the historian to read the book.
“Some Foreign Ministers do read books. May be a good habit for some Professors too. In that case, strongly recommend the one I released yesterday,” the Union minister tweeted.

Guha again wrote back to Jaishankar and said, “Sir, since you have a PhD from JNU, you must surely have read more books than me. Among them must have been the published correspondence of Nehru and Patel which documents how Nehru wanted Patel as the “strongest pillar” of his first Cabinet. Do consult those books again.

The historian further went on to post a letter that Nehru wrote to Patel inviting him to join his Cabinet.

VP Menon was a senior civil servant who worked closely with India’s first home minister Sardar Patel.

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